Rabbit to Bear: I will always be by your side.
And the Principal Care Provider looked up at my husband from her computer and the mess of sheets from Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in front of her. She sighed and then asked how are you feeling?
"Like shit," he answered simply. Dr. Sauvery knows Rich well enough to know that means 'overall crappy in health and mood'.
"Depressed over this?" she asked.
"Well, of course."
She nodded. "That was a significant PE that you went through. Frankly I am surprised you are alive. Very few people survive what you went through so I guess you should feel lucky?" Dr. S is straightforward and she knows Rich wants to hear it that way.
"Lucky?" he asks with a glance at her and then the floor, "Lucky? Well I don't know about that. I may feel better if I was dead." His hand comes up shaking a bit from his enormous fatigue.
"To live like this? This is not being alive."
She nods, "Yep, your are right, but you survived and you need rest and you WILL feel better."
She does and exam as she talks. "You are amazing, all of these things you've been through would have,"...she shrugs, "you must have amazing genetics and you must be here for a very good reason."
Rich looks tired and worn out. So Dr. S sits next to him and puts her hand gently on his arm.
"You go home and rest, follow your meds. YOU let Christmas come to you and New Years also. You set in that easy chair and tell the kids that Grandpa is tired and needs his rest. You enjoy those kids. You enjoy them seeing you. Have family make visits but be short. This is winter and the weather is yucky, you don't have to go out and do stuff outside..."
This was the longest 'speech' Dr. S has ever made. Then when we stood to leave, she hugged Rich and then me. Her parting words were said quietly, and I don't believe they were meant for Rich to hear...or???
"Watch over him as you do. You are an Angel at his side."
We check out at the desk. Rich has known the receptionist there for many years. She asks, "Dang Rich you were in the hospital again! What happened?"
He responds, "Well I guess I am lucky to be here, most don't make it through the really bad blood clot thing I had I guess." He shrugs.
The place is quiet and the other receptionist steps over.
She has a very southern drawl.
"Sir, I think God put you on this Earth for a reason and ain't done with whatever He has intended for you."
We set up the follow up appointment, Rich comments quietly, "If I make it to spring."
I helped my exhausted sweet heart get into the Subaru and get settled. The sun was getting ready to set in a blaze of colorful glory. Rays of light blasted through holes in the clouds and went up into the sky while another set lit up the countryside.
Rich reclined in the seat and was silent for our drive home.
See your family.
See your Grand children.
My mind went places it perhaps shouldn't have.
He had cheated death again. The Grim Reaper had knocked on the door a week ago on that frosty foggy morning.
Exactly how much more pain and discomfort could a person live with.
"Sir, God put you on this Earth for a reason and he ain't done with you yet."
I wonder. And I drive home in the quiet car and fight back all sorts of thoughts and emotions.
I reach over and lightly hold his hand while I can on the nice straight parts of the road.
We've had quite the journey together, I think.